New Book Reviews
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
Liam O'Connor is trapped below decks on the Titanic, Maddy Carter's plane is just about to explode in mid-air, and Sal Vikram is caught in a fire when a man appears and offers them a way out. Come with him and live outside society for the rest of your life, or stay and die. They each choose to follow him and are transported to New York City on September 10, 2001 where they live in a time bubble of a repeating September 10-11, and become a team of Time Riders. Their mission is to notice subtle shifts to the timeline caused by rogue time travelers and go back in time and stop the other travelers before they can alter the future.
Reading Level: Grade 6-8
Sunny felt out of place when she and her family lived in the United States, she stands out even more in Nigeria. It isn't fair. She's 100% Igbo just like her parents and brothers, but Sunny is an albino so instead of having beautiful dark skin, hair and eyes, Sunny is so light her skin and hair look yellow.
When Sunny sees a strange vision in a candle's flame, she doesn't tell anyone. She's strange enough as it is. When Sunny is befriended by a classmate, she finds herself drawn into the very strangeness she is trying to avoid.
If you enjoyed this tale of young magicians you will probably enjoy:
Reading Level: Grade 7-12
At 16, Jamie Gordon is the youngest of the paparazzi in New York and thus a celebrity in her own right. She is given a dream job that every celebrity photographer would want. Jamie is hired to photograph a week in the life of super star Willow Twine at the star’s Hollywood mansion. Willow needs to prove to the studio that she is drug free and Jamie needs to prove that she is truly talented and her celebrity is no fluke.
The book is narrated from several points of view. There is Jamie’s first person narration, e-mails to her boyfriend Nasim, the story of Avy, an aspiring actor who is Jamie’s best friend, letters from an obsessed Willow fan, and the perspective of a police detective. The plotline goes back and forth in time but each chapter names the narrator and the exact date. It can be a bit confusing, but the extra effort needed to follow the plot is well worth it.
Reading Level: Grades 6+
Eagan has been figure-skating practically since she could walk, and she's good. Really good. It's just not feasible that she could ever hurt herself while skating. But she does. Coming down from a triple axel, Eagan lands too close to the boards, smacking her head.
Amelia has lived the past few years of her life quietly, without moving much or making too much of a fuss about anything. Amelia has a heart defect, and needs a transplant. One morning, she gets a phone call. The hospital has a heart for her.
Other books dealing with death and the afterlife:
For older readers:
Reading Level: Ages 4-7
Bunnies are supposed to be nice and quiet, nibbling clover and grass, and staying out of the mud and dirt. Suki loves to SHOUT and YELL and play in the mud. One day, Suki leaves her burrow and gets lost… will her loud voice be able to reach her mother’s ears?
Reading Level: Grades 7+
Ann Michelle has a quiet life, living with her grandma, going to school, hanging with her friends, listening to hip hop music and lusting after the artists. Everything changes when Rachel, who insists everyone call her Raq to acknowledge the rock star that she is, crashes into Ann Michelle’s life. Raq is everything Ann Michelle isn’t – she’s sassy, loud, confident, boisterous, and (according to Ann Michelle’s grandma) dangerous. But Ann Michelle likes the person Raq brings out of her, and one night, she sneaks out to go to a concert with her new friend. True to her rock star lifestyle, Raq scores the girls backstage passes, and soon Ann Michelle finds herself face to face with her favorite hip hop artist, Piper. Ann Michelle introduces herself to him as Glitz, and with that first simple lie, her personality whirlwinds into a sexy, confident, bold girl. When Piper and his entourage invite Raq and Glitz to the recording studio with them, the old Ann Michelle’s propriety and adherence to rules are squashed. Before she realizes it, the girls are on their way to New York City with Piper and his crew to record a big demo, which Raq hopes she will push her way onto. The further she gets from home, the more Glitz realizes the mistake she’s made.
Reading Level: Grades K-3
Retirement isn’t for everyone – especially not sixty-two year old Annie Edson Taylor. Schoolteaching in the late 1800s was not a high paying job, and after retirement, Annie needed a way to earn some money so she could live out the rest of her days in comfort and happiness. She knew that stuntmen and daredevils often made good money from their bravado, and so she decided to become the first person ever to go over Niagara Falls… in a barrel. Chris Van Allsburg’s typical old-timey illustrations are a perfect pairing with this biography.